How Teachers Are Helping Students Learn In-Person Once Again


Lillyana Brastad, Staff Writer

With more and more people gaining access to the Covid-19 vaccine, many Glacier Peak teachers have taken the opportunity to get vaccinated. As many students have been returning to in-person learning these past few weeks, the school must remain as virus-free as possible, teachers getting vaccinated may just be the key factor. Science teacher, Mrs. Ashmon, is one of the many teachers that are hoping that this vaccine can keep us back in school for the long haul. “I work with mostly freshmen, so consistency is really important to me,” Ashmon said.

Mrs. Ashmon received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in early March at the Arlington airport. The district is lucky enough to have Mrs. Foley, who has been taking on the task of finding and scheduling available vaccine appointments for Snohomish School District workers. Although the vaccine process has been easier for teachers, they still have the average experience with it and Mrs. Ashmon faced some rather annoying symptoms. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is only a single shot, rather than many of the other vaccines that include two different shots, this luckily meant only one day of suffering for her. “The next day I was just death warmed up tired and I just felt like my head wasn’t attached to my body, my husband said I was a walking zombie,” Ashmon said.

She reported having symptoms such as fatigue and just overall lack of alertness for only around a day, the next day she had not a single vaccine symptom, like many other people who have been vaccinated reported. In the end, she believes that it was all worth it, as she cares for her elderly mother at home who is highly susceptible to the virus. Teachers, including Mrs. Ashmon, have mentioned that being vaccinated has helped decrease their worries immensely, as recently it has been discovered that teachers may be spread the virus more than students do, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. She has been quite excited to see students in a classroom again, as it has only been a little over a year since the world shut down. Now, many individuals are eager for a somewhat return to normal.

“When they talked about the model of how [the making of the vaccine] was going to work, I completely understood that model and it made a lot of sense to me and I was really happy about it. I know that some people are like ‘oh no it’s too fast, they cut corners.’ But if you understand the process, you’re like no that’s not actually how it is.” Ashmon said.

Teachers are required to at least be in the process of getting the Covid-19 vaccine to come back on campus with students, it doesn’t fully kick in until 2-3 weeks after the dosing. Due to privacy Washington state HIPPA laws, the district is only allowed to ask teachers if they have been fully vaccinated, nothing else. Some teachers, along with the general population, maybe against the vaccine for reasons such as philosophical belief systems or they just don’t want to receive it and the district does not want to be deemed as discriminatory, but it is required to have with on-campus teaching.

“As a mom, it’s a little bit frightening because you wouldn’t want your child in a room with somebody who could be carrying a virus. It’s really interesting, like a double-edged sword, and I believe teachers are required to be fully vaccinated, but I don’t really know what the rules are. There’s just a lot of new information so it’s kind of unknown.” Ashmon said.

The  top goal for teachers, staff members, and other district workers’ main goals are to keep everybody safe and virus-free. By following CDC guidelines, having teachers vaccinated, and overall caring for others, the likelihood of a huge schoolwide outbreak is largely decreased. Mrs. Ashmon and the Glacier Peak staff hope that this year will continue out with an topoption of in-person learning, all while everybody is healthy, safe, and having a good time.